INTERNATIONAL MASTER Oliver Dimakiling dumped National Master Giovanni Mejia late Sunday to maintain solo leadership in the 2012 National Open Chess Championships at the Cabagnot Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo Aklan.
Dimakiling, who earned his second GM norm on Saturday, improved his total to 17.0 points after 11 rounds.
GM Mark Paragua remained in second with 16.0 points following his victory over GM Roland Salvador.
The battle for the third and final outright spot in the men's team for this year's World Chess Olympiad intensified after the top contenders settled for draws. GMs Darwin Laylo split the point with GM Eugene Torre while Rogelio "Joey" Antonio halved the point with GM John Paul Gomez to push their total to 14.0 points. GM Julio Catalino Sadorra was just half point behind after taking the scalp of FIDE Master Haridas Pascua. Torre and Gomez were still in the hunt with 12.0 points apiece.
The event is using the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay, Jr. where a win is equivalent to two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 1.5 for the last player to make a move and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Top Filipino player GM Wesley So is already assured of a slot in the Olympiad while NCFP has the option to pick the fifth player for the team.
In the distaff side, Woman International Master Catherine Perena toppled Eden Tumbos to raise her total to 17.0 points and keep the lead. Woman National Master Janelle Mae Frayna remained in second with 15.0 points after a draw against Krizza Lyn Abasolo while WNM Jedara Docena climbed to third with 14.5 points after stalemating Shania Mae Mendoza.
Three outright slots to the Olympiad are also at stake in the women's division.
Supporting the tournament dubbed as "Battle of the Grandmasters" are the Boracay Chess Club, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, Lone District of Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores, Club Paraw owned by Malay Councilor Hon. Wilbec M. Gelito and Willy's Beach Resort owned by Gen. Manager Rochanie G. Gadon, Kolai Mangyan owner Mr. Lowell Gucilo and Tawhay Condotel owner Arwen Barrios.